It looks like Facebook just might be working on a modular smartphone. The company has filed a patent for a “modular electromechanical device” that would allow users to easily swap existing components for better ones when needed.
Facebook hasn’t released an official statement on the topic, so we don’t know exactly what kind of a modular device the company has in mind. However, the patent does mention a smartphone and smart speaker as potential candidates. You can see one of the images included in the patent below.
The idea of a modular smartphone, of course, isn’t new. Google was developing its own solution called Project Ara but decided to kill it off last year. What’s interesting is that quite a few key members of the Project Ara team now work at Building 8, which is basically Facebook’s consumer hardware division.
In addition to the modular smartphone, Building 8 is also working on some other innovative projects such as being able to type with your mind and understand language through your skin. If they can pull this off, the modular smartphone should be a piece of cake.
Facebook’s modular device is still under development and there’s no word on when or if it will be announced and released. Just because the company filed a patent doesn’t mean that the product will eventually hit the market. A lot of businesses have filed for patents in the past and ended up canceling their plans for one reason or another. We hope that this won’t happen to Facebook, although anything is possible at this point.